The 2011-12 ACB season may not have tipped off yet, but the Spanish league’s teams were nevertheless busy in preseason games this weekend. Below, BallinEurope briefly rounds up the action.
• A bunch of regional tournaments went down this weekend in Spain, including the Lliga Catalana semifinials. In this tourney yesterday, reigning Lliga and ACB champions FC Barcelona handled Lleida Basquetbol, 81-64, in their semifinal match; Boniface N’dong went for 18 points in the win.
On the other side of the bracket, Joventut survived a scare from hosts Assignia Manresa to take the 90-87 victory, thanks to a barrage of 14 three-pointers. Former Gonzaga University/KK Zadar guard Micah Downs was the game’s high scorer, with 20 points in Manresa’s losing effort.
The Lliga Catalana final will be played tonight at 8.45pm CET (2.45 EST).
• Euroleague club Unicaja Malaga actually managed to take two titles in one day thanks to a 91-59 win over Cajasol Banka Civica in a game which represented both the Copa de Andalucía championship and the Trofeo Pollinica award. Unicaja enjoyed a dominant fourth quarter, outscoring Cajasol 34-10. Joel Freeland had his way for the victors with a game-high 22 points.
• And in the upset result of the weekend, Lucentum Alicante became the new champion of the Lliga Valenciana by shocking Valencia Basket, 78-67. Perhaps Valencia suffered from chemistry issues, choosing this game as the 2011-12 season debut Nando de Colo, Florent Pietrus, Victor Claver and Stefan Markovic; Alicante at one point had a 23-point lead over the Eurocup contenders.
• In the Domreiter Cup hosted by Brose Baskets Bamberg, Gran Canaria 2014 finished a disappointing fourth among four teams after falling to Galil Gilboa, 79-72, despite a six-longball, 22-point performance from Roman Martinez.
The loss came one day after the Canaries managed to take the hosts into overtime before succumbing by an 87-86 score. The two German sides in the tournament – Bamberg and Bayern Munich – will play in the finals tonight, while Gran Canaria will probably be sticking around in Germany, as they’ll be taking on the Artland Dragons in a Eurocup Qualifying Round game on Wednesday.
• Finally, in an interleague clash of titans, Caja Laboral Baskonia topped Real Madrid, 75-68, to take the Trofeo Diputación Foral de Álava. Baskonia pulled away after Madrid closed the gap to 61-60 in the fourth quarter; Caja Laboral’s victory was buoyed by Team Spain’s Fernando San Emeterio and Team Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Mirza Teletovic, who went for 18 and 16 points, respectively. A crowd of 8,400 was on hand for the opening game in the new Iradier Arena.
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